D&D General What Do These People Eat?

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I've been reading the blog History Dollop quite a bit to help seed these ideas. Their latest is on the foods for Christmas in the Middle Ages. Another resource for food inspiration is Redwall Feasts on Twitter.

Together these help me realize that much of what constitutes traditional American food is nothing like the foods that fueled the time periods that inspire much of our fantasy.

Just dropping in slight changes to food experiences in the inn or on the trail helps the players realize that the world in which their characters live is alive.

Food also gives you the opportunity to tell different stories. In the modern era professional chefs consider themselves storytellers. Use their stories to inspire your next PC or NPC (I'm the author on that one).
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
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Depends on the setting. In one of my homebrews, some of the elves photosynthesize and the Orcs eat any meat that presents itself. In another, Dwarves don’t eat at all because they’re essentially free-willed intelligent magical constructs.
 

One thing to keep in mind when designing cuisine is that in addition to the food options in the environment, it's also about the fuel source for cooking. Dwarves probably have access to coal, so they do a lot of grilling. Gnomes might use a lot of oil ("good for cooking and inventing!"), so they fry a lot. Elves, depending on your take, might have a lot of wood for ovens, or might not dream of felling wood to cook with and thus have a lot of raw food in their diet. Or maybe they like ceviche?
 

G

Guest 6801328

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  1. The staple food of Dwarves is a pottage of roots, fungus and other ingredients (depending on type). Vermin and crustaceans (crays and large insects) are commonly mixed into Pottage recipes.
  2. Dwarves also use a lot of fermented vegetables - they will go to the surface make a seasonal harvest and then preserve it in thick relishes and sauces.
  3. Pottage ingredients can be thickened (often using powdered rock) and baked into a loaf for travel.
  4. The same ingredients (roots and mushrooms) are also fermented into various alcohols. Some dwarves also harvest hallucigenic mushrooms which they mix into drink.
  5. Dwarves also use a type of underground adapted sheep*
I've read that every human culture has developed some form of fermented food (not counting alcohol, which every human culture has also developed). Turns out fermented food is especially good for us for all kinds of reasons. For example, the real, original worcestershire sauce is the juice from fermented beef.

Not that fantasy worlds have to be realistic, but this factoid might make a good "plot hook" for developing interesting fantasy cuisines.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
One thing to keep in mind when designing cuisine is that in addition to the food options in the environment, it's also about the fuel source for cooking. Dwarves probably have access to coal, so they do a lot of grilling. Gnomes might use a lot of oil ("good for cooking and inventing!"), so they fry a lot. Elves, depending on your take, might have a lot of wood for ovens, or might not dream of felling wood to cook with and thus have a lot of raw food in their diet. Or maybe they like ceviche?
This is a great point.

Also ceviche dovetails nicely with my idea of elves being into foods that require a lot of prep.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
See also sushi & sashimi!
absolutely! The craft that goes into good sushi and sashimi would definitely appeal to them.

And i think Gnomes would have a decent overlap with them, but more focused on new dishes, and on really impressive presentation, and tricks, the kind of stuff that goes viral on tik tok, where the elves would tend toward perfecting traditional dishes, trimming what is unnecessary, adding very carefully things that enhance to traditional flavor profile, or texture, or presentation, etc.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
absolutely! The craft that goes into good sushi and sashimi would definitely appeal to them.

And i think Gnomes would have a decent overlap with them, but more focused on new dishes, and on really impressive presentation, and tricks, the kind of stuff that goes viral on tik tok, where the elves would tend toward perfecting traditional dishes, trimming what is unnecessary, adding very carefully things that enhance to traditional flavor profile, or texture, or presentation, etc.
Gnomes- especially the “tinker”/“artificer” types would be focused more on cooking in innovative ways. A gnomish salamander might actually have a salamander in it. They would experiment with explosives for rapid cooking. Etc.
 

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